So another reason I liked Reloaded is that they extended things thematically in, to me, interesting ways. I’m a broken record, but yeah, I’m not saying why you should like the movie, I’m just saying why I did. So not convincing, just explaining.
Like, Dave said this already, but the central question of the first, “What is the Matrix?” is extended even further in Reloaded. In ways that are consistent with the first, but interesting. Like, we know things from the first movie but questions naturally arise. Like, why is there a One. The time problem (maybe). I dunno, I was talking with some people who hadn’t seen Reloaded yet and I thought it was interesting that problems they had with the matrix as presented in the first movie were dealt with in the second. So yeah, these new ideas don’t cheat, and they introduce interesting things. You’re still wondering what the matrix is, in deeper ways I think.
I also liked how the second movie moved forward philosophically. You know, the first was a lot about illusion vs. reality, stuff like that. Which is cool, but would have been kinda boring and repetitive, I think, if they kept that as a central theme.
But they don’t, they move on to fascinating questions of free will and purpose. And again, these are natural questions that arise from the first movie, that people have brought up. So they extend ideas that should be extended.
Anyway, to me, if the Matrix was a philosophical movie, I feel like Reloaded was a religious movie. Maybe that’s a stretch, but it’s not really. Matrix asks what questions. What is the matrix. What is reality. Reloaded asks, I think, why questions, more questions of purpose, why do we exist, stuff like that, that’s almost religious in nature.
Then you have all the religious jargon and imagery. Zion. The counselor leading them in prayer. People bringing offerings to the One. I dunno. Honestly, I felt like Morpheus’ speech and the whole rave things was kinda existential, or at least, that’s the only way I can make sense of it. They recognize the absurd, that there’s a strong chance they may all die soon. So why live? Why fight? Morpheus’ answer: We are (still) here. I dunno, that’s existentialism, right? Recognizing the absurdity of existence but given that existence, celebrating that. I dunno, I know very little about existentialism so maybe I’m way off here but that’s what I felt it was about. It was saying, we do exist, so we will defiantly celebrate that existence.
Anyway, a lot of the movie I thought could have been Calvinist. Not just the denial of free will. But ideas like, everyone had and fulfills a purpose, whether they recognize it or not. I dunno, couldn’t that be Calvinist? Or when the Oracle says, “You’ve already made the choice. Now you have to understand it.” I dunno, to me that’s Calvinism. Things are predetermined. Point is just to understand why it is, and where you fit in it.
Anyway, yeah, the movie could have easily rested on what was already done in the Matrix, but they didn’t do that, they extended ideas in logical but interesting ways and I really jived with that.